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Morgan Stanley has hired a significant Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida

Morgan Stanley has hired a huge Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida as it will add to the list of multi-million-dollar hires from the rival wirehouse.

The group includes Lawrence W. Catena, his son, Steven, Erik Beiermeister, and Mercedes Fonte and also 3 customer associates. They had been generating $7.5 million in annual fees and commissions, based on an individual familiar with their practice, and joined Morgan Stanley’s private wealth group for clients with twenty dolars million or more in their accounts.
The group had managed $735 million in client assets from 76 households which have an average net worth of fifty dolars million, as reported by Barron’s, which ranked Catena #33 out of 84 top rated advisors in Florida in 2020. Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter who worked with the team on their move, said that their total assets were $1.2 billion when factoring in new clients and market appreciation in the two years since Barron’s assessed the practice of theirs.

Catena, who spent all although a rookie year of the 30 year career of his at Merrill, didn’t return a request for comment on the team’s move, which took place in December, as reported by BrokerCheck.

Catena made the decision to move after the son Steven of his rejoined the team in February 2020 and Lawrence began considering a succession plan for the practice of his, according to Diamond.

“Larry always thought of himself as a lifer with Merrill with no goal to make a move,” Diamond wrote in an email. “But, when his son, Steven, came into the business he soon started to view the firm of his through a brand new lens. Would it be good enough for the life of Steven’s career?”

The move comes as Merrill is launching an interesting enhanced sunsetting program in November which can add an extra seventy five percentage points to brokers’ payout once they agree to leave the book of theirs at the firm, but Diamond said the updated Client Transition Program was not “on Larry’s radar” after he’d decided to make his move.

Steven Catena started the career of his at Merrill in 2016 but sojourned at Prudential Investment Management from 2017 until 2020 before rejoining, according to FintechZoom.

Beiermeister, who works individually from a branch in Florham Park, New Jersey, started his career at Merrill in 2001, as reported by BrokerCheck. Fonte started the career of her at Merrill in 2015.

A spokesperson for Merrill did not immediately return a request for comment.

Morgan Stanley has hired a significant Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in Florida and New Jersey
Morgan Stanley has hired a huge Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management team based in New Jersey and Florida

 

The group is actually a minimum of the fifth that Morgan Stanley has hired from Merrill in recent months and also seems to be the largest. In addition, it hired a duo with $500 million in assets in Red Bank, New Jersey last month and a pair of advisors producing about $2.6 million from Merrill in Maryland.

In December, Morgan Stanley lured a solo producer in California who had won asset-growth accolades from Merrill and in October hired a 26 year Merrill lifer in a Chicago suburb that was producing more than $2 million.

Morgan Stanley aggressively re entered the recruiting market last year after a three year hiatus, and executives have said that for the first time in recent times it closed its net recruiting gap to near zero as the number of new hires offset those that left.

It ended 2020 with 15,950 advisors – 482 more than twelve weeks earlier and 481 higher than at the conclusion of the third quarter. A lot of the increase came from the inclusion of over 200 E*Trade advisors that work largely from call centers, a Morgan Stanley executive said.

Merrill Lynch, that has stood by the freeze of its on veteran broker recruiting put in place in 2017, no longer breaks out the number of its of branch-based wealth management brokers from its consumer-bank-based Edge brokerage force.

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